The American justice system is no longer abstract theory, but daily reality. The specter of international and domestic terrorism, the high-tech sophistication of cyber-crime, our fascination with modern criminal investigation all point to justice studies as a vital, growing field offering multiple career paths.
Unlike other criminal justice programs that are limited in scope and depth, Southern New Hampshire University’s justice studies major provides both a solid foundation in core competencies and in-depth, targeted areas of study in specialty fields. Explore basic concepts and survey courses, then add concentrations and certificates to more deeply understand specific interests.
This macro-micro approach to your studies translates into expanded employment opportunities.
Unlike programs that focus on only one aspect of the justice model, such as law enforcement, the SNHU justice studies BS provides a sweeping overview of the justice system, criminal law, corrections systems, legal and social science research, international criminal justice and more.
Students tailor the program to their career goals, complimenting traditional justice studies courses with undergraduate classes in such aligned areas as business, psychology, sociology, political science, and philosophy.
Elect a BS in Justice Studies alone or choose a concentration in:
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission - to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of majoring in justice studies at SNHU include:
Justice-related careers are on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two areas with exceptional growth projections through 2024 include probation officers and correctional treatment specialists (with 4 percent estimated growth) and arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators (9 percent).
As an SNHU justice studies major, you'll cultivate both the analytical and research/writing skills you need to stand out to prospective employers. Among the skills you'll graduate with are the ability to:
As you near completion of your degree, you can look forward to active career placement support.
The BS in Justice Studies provides more than a general examination of the field. You'll learn the "mechanics" from a study of our country's legal traditions to the role of the courts to the current state of the U.S. correctional system.
Discover concepts at the core of our justice system through introductions to ethics and logic, and subsequent courses that explore specific fields, such as law enforcement, probation/parole, corrections, court administration, criminology, homeland security and more.
Studies in psychology and sociology provide a deeper understanding. How might we better understand the criminal mind? How do homeland security issues impact personal freedoms? What about victims' rights and the rights of the accused in our justice system?
Guiding you through the program is a first-rate faculty that includes working professionals in the field of justice studies. Their experience directly relates to the course material, adding depth and breadth to your studies.
Free elective Credits: 24
This course provides a general introduction to the big questions of philosophy, including questions of existence, knowledge, freedom and meaning. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to great thinkers and theories while engaging them in the exploration of the same beginning questions applied to contemporary issues.
This course provides students an introduction to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students prepare for more advanced concepts in upper-level Psychology courses by learning the basics of how to evaluate research and exploring various areas of specialization within the discipline.
Is one's identity individually or socially constructed? Are all stereotypes invalid or can there be value in generalizations? Is globalization widening the gaps or homogenizing the world? In this course, students will grapple with these essential questions in examining the world through the lens of a sociologist. Sociology offers an empirically-based methodology for critically evaluating society-from issues of individual agency to the roots of global institutions. Culture, norm stratification, systems, structure, social institutions, social change, the organization of social behavior and its relationship to society and social conditions are emphasized. Students will challenge their own preconceived notions and evaluate these constructs in terms of their relevancy to contemporary issues and problems.
This course covers the nature, scope and impact of crime in the United States, independent and interdependent operations and procedures of police, courts and corrections, and introductory theories of crime and delinquency. The course introduces the justice model in a systematic way whereby students delve into the numerous components of the justice system including law enforcement, legal and judicial process and correctional operations. Career opportunities will be fully covered throughout the course.
An examination of the American judicial system, highlighting state, local, and federal tribunals, including an assessment of their hierarchy, subject matter jurisdiction, and administration. Also reviewed will be judicial reasoning, judicial process and the chief personnel responsible for judicial operations. More particularly the course will expose the various phases inherent in civil and criminal litigation including the concepts of jurisdiction, venue, parties and the pleadings that guide advocacy. Typical case calendars and dockets will be examined throughout the course so that students may acquire a complete understanding of the litigation process.
This course compares and contrasts the criminal justice system of the United States with the systems of other countries on a substantive and procedural basis. A thorough examination of other cultural models of law and justice in order that differences in justice processing and definition become apparent. Some emphasis is placed on international policing and legal enforcement, whether through INTERPOL, treaty or other regulation.
An introduction to substantive criminal law that reviews the social, philosophical, and legal foundations of criminal codification. In addition, the course covers the historical development of criminal law in the U.S. Other subject matters include parties to crimes including principals/accessories, criminal capacity, criminal elements, e.g. mens rea, actus rea, and the specific crimes against person, property, and public order. Lastly, the course captures criminal law from the defendant's perspective by reviewing the accuser's mental states, potential defenses and uses of mitigation.
This course encompasses a complete examination of the law, its origins, roots and underpinnings in a jurisprudential context. Coverage includes a focused examination of classical, medieval and contemporary legal thinkers. Problems of personal privacy, sexual freedom, procreative control, the imposition of penalties, and notions of good will be considered. Course participants will consider these questions: What is law? Is law related to religion and morality? What are the foundations of law in Western Culture? Can law, ethics and morality be differentiated? How can a legal system be just? Can law shape morality or does morality shape law? How does Western legal tradition resolve ethical questions such as abortion, suicide, euthanasia, and the death penalty? Is there a unified vision of law that consists of the good, of virtue and the idea of justice?
1 of the following:
A criminal justice exploration of the specialized methods and sources of legal and justice research in these areas. Justice publications and resources, case collections, computer-assisted research, constitutional materials, legal history, legal periodicals, legislative history, practice and procedures, and social science materials related to law. Application of legal research strategies will be required.
Students in this course will develop an understanding a variety of research methods, including experimental, survey, correlation and case-history techniques. They will become aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each method and understand when each method is best used. Writing intensive course.
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
Select two of the following:
A complete examination of the dynamic referred to as 'organized crime' commencing with its historical underpinnings. Specific crimes, like racketeering, extortion, bribery, official corruption, graft, drugs, prostitution and other illicit trafficking will be analyzed. Investigative techniques and prosecutorial strategies that relate to the identification and elimination of organized crime are a major component of the course content.
This course will examine issues surrounding the central character in a criminal act - the victim. Contents are designed to develop an understanding of what it means to be victimized, including the physical, psychological, and economic impact of crime upon victims, their families, and society in general. Special consideration will be given to specific victim populations (i.e. survivors of homicides, sexual assault, and family violence), secondary victimization by the criminal system, victim assistance programs, and future trends in this field. A full review of how the American justice system has responded to the needs of victims is part of the course content and includes a look at victim testimony at sentencing and parole and probation hearings, victim notification, Meghan's law, victim advisory and protection services, and other means in which the judicial system assures victim participation during the adjudicative phase.
This course considers crime committed by corporations as well as white collar criminals; how such crimes are defined, who commits or is victimized by it, which moral, ethical, legal and social contexts promote it and how society responds. Procedural and policy considerations in the investigation and enforcement of relevant statutes will also be covered, including the concept of legal privilege, the role of the grand jury and other pre-trial processes, evidentiary questions, litigation strategies, and potential sanctions and other punishments.
Examines current terrorism, its origins and ideological bases, with particular attention to its relation to political institutions and the criminal justice process. Specific attention is given methods and means of the terrorist, motivations and modus operandi trends and predictability and law enforcement's multi-faceted reactions to its many devious forms. Legislative efforts to curb the scourge of terrorism are also highlighted.
This is a course that examines criminal activity targeted against children. The course will focus on the physical and sexual abuse, neglect, kidnapping, and sexual exploitation of children. Students will explore methods of identifying victims, investigating offenders, and court presentation of criminal cases. Special attention is focused on the dynamics of the relationship between victims and offenders and how that is a factor in the investigation and prosecution of criminal acts.
Students will learn how psychology, as a science and a practice, applies to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. Emphasis will be placed on witness testimony and the social psychology of the courtroom. Topics will include recovered memories, adolescent violence and murder, strategies for interviewing witnesses, expert testimony, and factors influencing the credibility of witnesses, victims and offenders.
This course offers students an opportunity to better understand human behavior. It also studies the similarities and differences between normal and abnormal reactions to environmental stimuli.
This course will provide the student with insights about crime from a psychological perspective. Specifically, the course will focus on how a criminal offender is influenced by multiple systems within the psychosocial environment. This course examines and evaluates the role of psychological factors in understanding the motives behind antisocial acts. Throughout the course, students will acquire knowledge and practice in the application of psychological methods to understanding criminal behavior.
Students in this course analyze contemporary social problems in America and other societies. Issues include economic limitations, class and poverty, race and ethnic relations, sexism, ageism, and environmental and population concerns.
The course examines the nature, causes, and consequences of crime and violence to a society. Applying a legal and sociological perspective, the course examines: 1) the structure of the law and the criminal justice system; 2) the nature and causation of criminal behavior; and 3) the various types of crime and criminality.
This course is a sociological analysis of the nature, cause, and societal reactions to deviant behavior, including mental illness, suicide, drug and alcohol addiction and sexual deviation.
The background, foundation and ethical aspects of the United States' legal system are examined. Torts, product liability, criminal law, contracts, sales, business organizations, and agency and cyber law also are explored.
The study begun in Business Law I continues as the topics of commercial paper, real and personal property, creditors' rights and bankruptcy, agency, business organizations, estate planning and government regulation of business are explored.
A full-fledged review of the justice system's response to the establishment and maintenance of family in the American culture. How the family is defined, its heritage of rights and protections and the differentiated roles of parent and child are central considerations. Further review includes a look at family dissolution, divorce, custody and support disputes and the ongoing problems of visitation. The emerging problems of spousal and child abuse will be keenly analyzed and how the legal systems provide protection from these abuses will be closely scrutinized.
This course covers the juvenile justice system, with special emphasis on the way it procedurally differs from adult offender adjudication. The parts of the juvenile justice system, hearings, due process standards and constitutional mandates are fully reviewed. Status offenders and other youth classifications are considered, together with a historical summary of juvenile court philosophy. New trends in the procedural disposition of juveniles especially transfer to adult jurisdiction, types of punishment, suitability of the death penalty are discussed.
A procedural law course which includes a review of the law of arrests, search, and seizure, the making of bail, adjudication, pre- and post-trial activities and the nature of plea bargaining. Substantial emphasis is given the constitutional protections afforded through the Bill of Rights, particularly the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th. The course deals extensively with case law applications of these principles and the role of judge and jurist in the crafting of criminal process standards.
An examination of death penalty policies in the American justice system from a legal, ethical and jurisprudential perspective. An analysis of case and statutory law, the principles of due process and appellate rights are included.
An interdisciplinary course covering law, criminal justice, science, and technological issues in the evidentiary arena. Coverage in the course provides a broad-based assessment of expert witnesses, microanalysis, pathological evidence, admissibility and investigatory practice, ballistics, fingerprints, vascar/radar, and photographic techniques. Contrasted with criminalistics, subject matter of this course is primarily evidentiary. More particularly, the course will delve into the rules of evidence, which guide the admissibility of forensic evidence in a court of law. Examination includes threshold tests for reliability and admissibility, qualification of witnesses competent to testify, scientific rigor required for admission and case law determinations on the use and abuse of scientific evidence.
Course exposes participants to administrative law theory and the practical aspects of administrative law practice, both within and outside the administrative agency. Coverage equips the student with the necessary skills to understand, apply, and research relevant statutory and regulatory provisions at the federal and state level, to read, interpret and draft proposed rules and regulations, to become familiar with the process known as the administrative law hearing, the concept of administrative discretion and corresponding remedies. Preliminary drafts of documents, briefs, and opinions relative to the appellate stage of an administrative law proceeding will also be covered.
A comprehensive review of evidentiary principles, both common law and statutory, and how evidentiary standards affect and govern both civil and criminal process. Topical coverage includes: Real and physical evidence, demonstrative substitution, hearsay and first-hand evidence, witness scope and qualification, as well as privilege principles. Both federal and state rules will be interpreted. Students will be required to advocate cases utilizing these evidentiary principles in a mock court environment and to research an area of emerging evidence law.
This course explores the reasoning process by American courts in resolving constitutional disputes. It is modeled on a first-year law school course. The readings consist almost exclusively of abbreviated U.S. Supreme Court opinions in civil liberties and civil rights cases. Students learn how to write brief, formal summaries of these opinions of the type that first-year students in American law schools learn to write, and are expected to participate actively in the type of in-class Socratic dialogues that are the standard method of instruction in American law schools.
An introduction to the police system in America, which is the gateway to the criminal justice process. Topics considered include the historical foundations of police processes, occupational roles and tasks of law enforcement, and the nature and designs of typical, as well as innovative, police systems. Perennial problems of policing, particularly as it relates to community interaction, are also essential components of the course.
This course examines the management, structure, and organizational design of correctional institutions. Correctional planning, construction, program evaluation and community interaction will be considered and improvement strategies for correctional operations will be debated and critiqued. The course provides a broad based overview of the correctional system which incarcerates and confines, treats, and reclaims criminal personalities and protects and serves the state and the community by removing threats to the social order.
A basic overview of private sector justice is the course's chief aim. Types of security operations and functions comprises much of the course coverage including perimeter and physical security, intelligence gathering, retail and industrial security, terrorism and executive protection as well as security in select business and industrial centers. Careers, regulation and licensure, and the debate on professionalization are other areas of major intellectual concern.
This course is designed to introduce students to concepts of forensic science with an emphasis on the recognition, identification, individualization, and evaluation of physical evidence by applying the natural sciences to law-science matters. Basic scientific principles used in the practice of forensic science and types of evidence, physical evidence in particular, will be discussed. It provides useful information on how scientific truth is used to solve cases and protect the innocent, how increased scientific information and technology could create a safer society, and how that information and technology could be used to create a less free society. Examining the role of forensic science in criminal and civil investigations where questions regarding the interpretation of physical evidence are crucial and will be discussed.
This course is a comprehensive examination of civil and criminal investigations in both public and private modes, including most major felony processes and relevant civil actions. Focus is on the fundamentals of the investigative process and the range of skills necessary for successful performance and management of investigations, including evidence gathering and analysis, witness assessment, field techniques, and linkage between investigative and prosecutorial agencies.
This course covers a wide array of issues relevant to the protection of industrial, retail and commercial interests, including administrative and managerial aspects of the security field in both the public and private sector; consideration of unique security management problems arising from labor disputes, demonstration, civil disorders and riots, white collar and organized crime and industrial espionage. Management issues peculiar to organizations which operate under constraints imposed by federal and state regulatory agencies is also dealt with. Tactical steps and strategies to combat the various forms of criminality in the commercial marketplace will be analyzed and discussed.
This course examines the theory and practices of probation and parole with juvenile and adult offenders, including: release philosophy, bail and petition, hearings on grant, revocation or denial, alternative community based corrections and legal issues that emerge in award revocation or imposition of probation and parole.
This course involves discussion and study of specific problems of law enforcement and policing in contemporary American society. It emphasizes the development, nature and function of law enforcement as it relates to public criminal justice rather than private sector justice. Topical coverage consists of ethics, corruption, deadly force, and civil liabilities and other dilemmas commonly faced in the modern police system.
The study of command-level problems and trends in police organizations and management. Principles of organization, control, planning and leadership relating to police agencies are freely assessed. Topics consist of personnel, budget, policy making, crime response tactics and measurements of some.
The goal of this course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the strategic, political, legal, and organizational challenges associated with the defense of the U.S. homeland, the efforts that are under way to meet these challenges, and possible policy options. The course starts by examining the range of potential threats to the U.S. homeland, focusing on potential terrorist acts. The course then examines strategies and means for addressing these threats, including both military and non-military options. The course goes on to analyze organizational issues and impediments to effective policy coordination. Finally, the course addresses the implications of homeland security challenges and policies for constitutional rights, legal protections, and civil liberties.
This course focuses on the investigation, detection, documentation, and prevention of accounting frauds, stock frauds, and employee theft and embezzlement. White-collar crime involving fraud has mushroomed. Much of the responsibility for detecting fraud has been assumed by the accounting profession. Accountants need to learn how to investigate and recognize fraud within an organization and how to implement the latest techniques for controlling it.
This course provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to work in the communications profession. They also will develop a clear understanding of the statutory and constitutional guidelines governing the profession. Students learn the theoretical underpinnings of the First Amendment, followed by its application in cases involving libel, privacy, intellectual property, corporate speech, advertising, obscenity, access to information, protection of news sources, broadcasting policy and electronic media regulations.
This course examines the common and statutory law of the hospitality and tourism industry in the United States. Included are discussions of the duties and responsibilities of hospitality and tourism businesses to guests, including duties to maintain property, receive travelers and assume various liabilities for guests' property. The legal environment and issues of the hotel, restaurant and travel industry will be discussed and analyzed. Ways of preventing and responding to legal situations as an executive in the hospitality and tourism industry will be identified and evaluated.
The course is designed to provide students with an overview of the areas of public and private international law that affect international business activities. The United Nations Conventions on International Sale of Goods will be given particular attention.
A semester or summer based experience in a foreign nation, e.g. Ireland, Hungary, London, or Germany by enrolling in actual classes at a foreign host institution for purposes of credit. Class instruction relates to the study of law and justice and affords a comparative critique of foreign justice models. The experience consists of not only study, but also visitations to justice agencies, research, travel to historical and cultural locations and social activities. Credits awarded will vary according to course offerings, time and length of experience.
This course is independent in design, allowing students to act and engage in mature thought and academic review of topics of interest. The course requires a scholarly, yet practical completion of a large research project in conjunction with a faculty mentor. Projects must be approved in advance of registration and must be concerned with significant intellectual subject matter that involves the administration of Law and Justice.
An on-site, experiential learning experience where students work at a variety of justice agencies for academic credit is the central aim of the internship program. Intern locations have included government agencies, police departments, prisons, federal and state law enforcement, private security firms, judicial clerkships, legal offices and legal research concerns. Interns must complete a self-evaluation, perform a series of exercises and assignments, author a log diary and paper outlining the internship experience, work 45 hours per internship credit, and present an acceptable recommendation from the internship supervisor upon completion of the experience. Attendance at internship seminars for the department is required.
This course introduces students to ethical theory or the study of how people make decisions about how to treat one another. It emphasizes the historical and theoretical development of answers to such questions as: What kind of a person do I want to be? and How do we figure out what the right thing to do is?
This course is a study of the fundamental principles of correct and incorrect argument, historical forms of deductive logic, and the significance of language and clear verbalization.
This course offers a broad introduction to the structure and function of the American political system at the national level, including the roles played by the president, Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups and the mass media in the policy- making and electoral processes. This course places special emphasis on how the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to solve what they saw as the political problems of their day continue to shape American national politics in ours.
This course explores the structure and function of state and local governments in the United States, with an emphasis on their roles as partners with the federal government in a system of cooperative federalism. Students spend much of the course playing and critiquing their own performance in Camelot, a role-playing simulation game in which they assume the roles of civic leaders, representatives of organized interests, and other interested parties in a hypothetical city to try to resolve controversial policy dilemmas like the ones with which local communities are confronted routinely in the United States.
This course offers a broad introduction to the American legal tradition, including the structure and function of the courts, the legal profession, legal education, and the politics of judicial selection. As an introduction to what it means to "think like a lawyer" in the United States, students learn how to write parts of a predictive legal memorandum of the type that first-year law students learn how to write, in which they analyze a legal issue of concern to hypothetical clients by applying the reasoning and conclusions in selected judicial opinions to the facts of the clients' case.
This course explores the history and contemporary significance of the world's major legal traditions, including the common law, civil law, and other municipal legal traditions, and the international law tradition. Students compare and contrast the essential features of these traditions, and explore how they shape what it means to "think like a lawyer" in the United States, in many foreign countries, and internationally.
This course aims to dispel some of the myths about lawyers as advocates that are perpetuated by popular culture and the mass media in the United States. Students spend much of the course exploring case studies that illustrate the ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers as advocates in the American legal system, the ethical rules that govern their behavior as a condition of their license to practice law, and the fates that befall them when they fail to fulfill their ethical obligations. In addition, students learn how to write parts of an appellate legal brief of the type that first-year law students in American law schools learn how to write, and how to make an appellate oral argument on behalf of hypothetical clients in a moot court setting.
This course examines the legal issues prominent in the world of sport. The legal liability and responsibilities of coaches, athletic administrators, and sport managers at the professional, college and community levels will be discussed.
We believe that college should change your life, not break the bank. That's why more than 90 percent of our students receive some form of financial aid, and students who qualify could receive up to $20,000 in grants and scholarships.
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